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Hazelnut Sugar Cookie Cereal

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 5 min (includes cooling times)
  • Active: 2 hr 5 min
  • Yield: 18 servings
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Ingredients

1 batch Mini Sugar Cookie Hearts, recipe follows

1 batch Mini Meringues, recipe follows

1 cup dried cherries or cranberries 

1 cup milk chocolate chips 

1 cup toasted coconut flakes 

1 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped 

Milk, for serving 

Mini Sugar Cookie Hearts:

1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 

3/4 cup sugar 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened 

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg 

Mini Meringues:

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs whites 

1/4 teaspoon almond extract 

A tiny drop of red food coloring 

Directions

Special equipment:
a mini heart-shaped cookie cutter, a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8- or 1/4-inch round tip
  1. Gently combine the Mini Sugar Cookie Hearts, Mini Meringues, cherries, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and hazelnuts in a large bowl. (I ended up only using about two-thirds of the meringues because I liked that cookie-to-meringue ratio. The remaining meringues were kept aside for noshing and cake decorating!)
  2. Serve in a bowl with milk. Keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. The cereal should keep for a couple of weeks.

Mini Sugar Cookie Hearts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In a food processor, process the hazelnuts until finely ground. Add the flour and salt and pulse to combine.
  3. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat well to combine. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, beating until combined.
  4. Turn the cookie dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out until it's 1/4 inch thick and use a cookie cutter to cut out tiny hearts. Place the hearts on the baking sheets (they can be pretty close together) and bake until lightly browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes.
  5. Reduce the oven to 250 degrees F and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes to really crisp them up. Let cool on the baking sheets.

Mini Meringues:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Distribute the sugar in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the edges start to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. While the sugar is baking, add the egg whites to a stand mixer.
  2. Once the sugar has been in the oven for a few minutes, begin beating the egg whites on high until foamy. Reduce the mixer and gradually sprinkle in the warm sugar. Once all of it has been added, add the almond extract and food coloring. Beat on high until the meringue is stiff, glossy and cold, just a few minutes.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 225 degrees F.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8- or 1/4-inch round tip with the egg white mixture. Pipe tiny dollops onto the parchment and bake for about 20 minutes, until the mini meringues are no longer shiny and crispy all the way through. Let cool on the baking sheets.